Ski Buying Guide - Length


Posted on June 22, 2017 at 01:57 AM


Black Diamond

One of the most important things to consider when buying a pair of skis is length. Ski length is measured in centimeters (cm). The typical rule of thumb is to choose a pair of skis that when standing up straight, are somewhere in between your chin and top the of your head. In reality, there is nothing that will determine the perfect ski length for you, but there are a few things to consider. Your height, ability, and style of skiing all influence what length of ski is appropriate for you.

Height

Your choice of length depends greatly on your height. The chart below should be referred to as a base guideline when determining what length of ski to buy.

Skier Height (ft'in") Skier Height in centimeters (cm) Suggested Ski Lengths (cm)
4'4" 132> 115-130
4'6" 137 125-140
4'8" 142 130-145
4'10" 147 135-150
5' 152 135-155
5'2" 158 145-165
5'4" 163 150-170
5'6" 168 155-175
5'8" 173 160-180
5'10" 178 165-185
6' 183 170-190
6'2" 188 175-195
6'4" 193< 180+

Ability

Green Circle

Beginners are new to the sport of skiing. They are still learning how to stay in control and maintain balance on their skis. Generally sticking to bunny hills and green runs.

Blue Square

Intermediate skiers are comfortable linking turns together and maintaining balance on their skis. Generally sticking to green and blue runs.

Black Diamond

Advanced skiers have learned proper skiing technique and have good command over their skis. They are able to ski both on and off piste and are comfortable at higher speeds. Able to ski most conditions and black runs.

double black diamond

Experts ski fast and aggressively with strong technique. They are able to ski safely and in control on any type of terrain, pitch and snow condition.

Why This Matters

Beginner and intermediate skiers will require a ski that is easier to turn. Shorter skis are more maneuverable, so beginners will prefer a ski on the shorter side. Shorter skis are easier to control but are less stable at high speeds. Something from chin to nose length is suggested for beginners/intermediates.

Advanced and expert skiers, especially those who enjoy skiing fast and in variable conditions, may prefer a longer ski. Something between the eyes and top of the head. Some experts may even prefer a ski that is taller than they are, especially if the skis have rocker. Rockered skis have a smaller contact surface (where the base of the ski touches the snow) so skiing them at longer lengths is often recommended.

Style of Skiing

You may want a longer ski if..

  • You ski fast, aggressively, and strongly.
  • You like to ski off-piste, big mountain, and backcountry terrain.
  • You're buying rockered and/or twin tip skis.
  • You are an expert skier and know what you want.

You may want a shorter ski if..

  • You like to carve it up with short, technical turns.
  • You're learning to ski (beginner/intermediate).
  • You're buying a ski with traditional camber.


View All Posts